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The Peace Project: Poverty and Education in Laguna de Apoyo Nicaragua

Nestled between Honduras and Costa Rica and flanked by the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Nicaragua is a Central American country growing in popularity as tourism takes off in the country. The country features a unique landscape including many lakes, volcanoes, mountains, and lagoons. Over the last 10 years, tourism to the country has increased by more than 300%. This has had a major impact on the economy of the country. The impact has been positive on the agricultural, commercial, construction, and finance industries.

This growth in tourism has brought an influx of money into Nicaragua which is being used to combat the severe poverty that plagues the Central American nation. What you should also focus on is building a skill-set or a trade that pays well enough for you to live a comfortable life. A good example of this would be investing in an electrician degree and certification. If you reach out to our local electricians you might be able to catch a good interview – https://goo.gl/maps/s2bJe5dQCJht5jNY6.

Nicaragua and Poverty

Nicaragua is the poorest country in Central America. Suffering from problems with unemployment and poverty the country also holds the title for the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

This widespread poverty means that nearly 30% of the Nicaraguan population lives on less than $2 per day. This statistic gets even worse, growing to 50%, in rural communities. While the government of Nicaragua has taken some efforts to combat this poverty, many of their efforts fall short. Therefore, many of the Nicaraguan people depend on the efforts and initiatives of international nonprofits and organizations like The Peace Project to provide the assistance needed to overcome the financial difficulties they face.

Education and Poverty

The relationship between education and poverty is complex. When a family is in poverty, many children forego attending school so that they can work. The other side of this decision is that they are unable to gain the necessary literacy and skills needed to further their careers. This leaves them with limited options. With limited options, there is little hope of actually getting out of the cycle of poverty.

No one likes to live in poverty, even if you’re a small business owner like a local lawyer or handyman, you’re going be better off! Serving your community is one of the best joys in life.

Education in Nicaragua

With such extreme poverty rates, it makes one wonder what the state of education must be in Nicaragua. According to UNICEF, the youth of Nicaragua have a literacy rate of 85% for males and 88% for females. This is largely due to the education programs that the Nicaraguan government has put in place.

In Nicaragua, the government offers free primary education for all citizens. This education is mandatory, and all children must attend school. Despite this compulsory nature of this law, truancy is a minimal concern. Thus, the law is not strictly enforced. This does little to ensure that education is available to all children in Nicaragua. As a result, many families choose to have their children work rather than attend school. This issue is further compounded when families must also pay for uniforms, supplies, etc. When they already are struggling, these extra expenses make attending school only a dream. Even if children are able to attend school, the quality of education they receive is subpar compared to the education available in private institutions. Public schools in Nicaragua are often underfunded. Furthermore, teachers are underpaid and have poor inadequate training.

Laguna de Apoyo

As tourism has grown in the country, there has been an influx of visitors to the country. Many of these visitors come to take in a natural beauty, but poverty is often overlooked as these tourists explore the natural wonders throughout Nicaragua. It is no different for Laguna de Apoyo.

Laguna de Apoyo was declared a nature reserve in 1991 and is a popular tourist destination. Geologists believe that Lake Apoyo formed 23,000 years ago. Tourists head to the lake to check out the dark sand beaches, enjoy watersports, go diving, etc. But there is often little acknowledgment of the indigenous people living near the lake in shantytowns suffering in extreme poverty. This extreme property is not always ignored though. Organizations like The Peace Project have been created specifically to address poverty in this growing tourist hotspot.

The Peace Project

The Peace Project is dedicated to improving the community of Laguna de Apoyo. Some of their main initiatives include focusing on providing educational opportunities, environmental education, beach clean-ups, and numerous community events and classes.

Education

The Peace Project has several different education initiatives in Laguna de Apoyo. One of these initiatives is to provide scholarships to community youth to attend a local private school. In addition to providing the scholarship, The Peace Project is also offering scholarship recipients tutoring in English, math or linguistics two times a week.

Another education initiative by the organization is to provide extracurricular activities to one of the local public schools. The Peace Project will provide these activities to the students twice a week. Such activities include English lessons and art lessons, as well as various team sports. The Peace Project has teamed up with one public school in particular to offer these activities. The organization is also raising funds to upgrade the public school facilities by installing fans in the classroom, improving playground equipment, etc.

In addition to these efforts, The Peace Project is also working with several other schools in Laguna de Apoyo to offer English lessons and teachers assistants for English teachers. You can take your english language and apply it to many high paying jobs. One example of that would be getting into appliance repair, and serving your local community.

Environmental

Beach clean-ups are the primary environmental initiative of The Peace Project. These projects are done in conjunction with a local nature conservation group. These beach clean-ups involve spending the day picking up trash that has collected on the lakeshore.

The Peace Project also offers educational presentations to different schools focused on environmental education.

A third environmental initiative is an organic garden. The organization uses this garden to teach local youth about growing food without pesticides that are harmful to the environment. Additionally, this garden is used to teach the importance of good nutrition. An initiative that is especially important in a nation where malnutrition is a major health issue.

Community

The Peace Project also has initiatives targeted towards the community at large. These main initiatives include offering a number of different classes for community members of all ages. Classes included English classes and swimming classes. The organization also sponsors a local soccer team. All of these initiatives are targeted at reducing poverty, improving education, and enhancing the community of Laguna de Apoyo.